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What can be done to get the most out of one's schooling? What would you change about your education experience?

From other people's opinions and my experiences in the American Midwest, it seems most schools focus on their students' test performance and few classes prioritize true, authentic learning. I was disappointed when the classes I took during my first year of college -- or perhaps the aspirations of all but a fraction of my classmates -- were a continuation of this mindset.

I think I'm missing something and would love to hear your thoughts. What can students do to get the most out of their education? What do you wish you had done differently, if anything? Is this something I have to discover on my own? Thanks in advance for your insight.


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    Sep 3 2011: HI Claire

    I was attempting to advise a young person about to start a university degree course just two days ago. I failed to come up with a simple piece of advice. Your question here and the advice given below has prompted me to look again.

    When I "know" I have stopped looking. When I recognise that I do not know the adventure starts again.

    My University tuition insisted that I acquire a number of "knowns". I would have been better nurturing and cherishing the ability to recognise that I did not know and willingly going out to explore these areas of life.

    If I am learning for or to please or to impress anyone other than myself I may as well stop.

    I think that if you learn in order to get a piece of paper you have missed the point. Learn because there is so much to find out about and explore - take the duration of your course to study all that you can - it is a unique period of life.
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      Sep 3 2011: I agree Richard, that when we think we "know" then we have stopped our exploration, and when we recognise that we do not know, the adventure starts again...or continues. It is interesting that many people are uncomfortable "not knowing", and I feel it is the most unlimited place to be in ourselves:>)

      All of life is a "unique period", and always an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve. Life for me has always been and will continue to be an exploration. I would not deny myself that opportunity:>)

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